Posts for: March, 2018
You’ve recently learned one of your teeth needs a root canal treatment. It’s absolutely necessary: for example, if you have decay present, it will continue to go deeper within the tooth and it will spread to the roots and bone and could ultimately cause you to lose your tooth. Although you’re a little nervous, we can assure you that if we’ve recommended a root canal treatment, it’s the right step to take for your dental health.
There’s nothing mysterious — or ominous — about a root canal. To help ease any fears you may have, here’s a step-by-step description of the procedure.
Step 1: Preparing your mouth and tooth. We first take care of one of the biggest misconceptions about root canals: that they’re painful. We completely numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthesia to ensure you will be comfortable during the procedure. We isolate the affected tooth with a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl called a rubber dam to create a sterile environment while we work on the tooth. We then access the inside of the tooth — the pulp and root canals — by drilling a small hole through the biting surface if it’s a back tooth or through the rear surface if it’s in the front.
Step 2: Cleaning, shaping and filling the tooth. Once we’ve gained access we’ll clear out all of the dead or dying tissue from the pulp and root canals, and then cleanse the empty chamber and canals thoroughly with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. Once we’ve cleaned everything out, we’ll shape the walls of the tiny root canals to better accommodate a filling material called gutta-percha, which we then use to fill the canals and pulp chamber.
Step 3: Sealing the tooth from re-infection. Once we complete the filling, we’ll seal the access hole and temporarily close the tooth with another filling. Later, we’ll install a permanent crown that will give the tooth extra protection against another infection, as well as restore the tooth’s appearance.
You may experience some mild discomfort for a few days after a root canal, which is usually manageable with aspirin or ibuprofen. In a week or so, you’ll hardly notice anything — and the tooth-threatening decay and any toothache it may have caused will be a distant memory.
If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”
Bad oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as infection, gum disease, heart disease, and more. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings help to prevent these problems. Dr. Robert Brooks in Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in McDonough, GA, offers a full range of dental services. Here are four reasons why professional cleanings are so important.
1. Prevent Cavities- Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria turn the sugars in beverages and foods you consume into acid. The acid attacks the tooth enamel. A hole called a cavity can form. Plaque can be removed by practicing good oral hygiene every day and getting professional cleanings.
2. Prevent Gum Disease- Gum disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth. It is also called periodontal disease. Gum disease has been linked to health problems such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and premature births. You can prevent periodontal disease by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings.
3. Prevent Tooth Loss- Gum disease is typically caused by poor flossing and brushing habits. In advanced stages, gum disease can destroy the jawbone, causing your teeth to fall out. You can prevent this from happening to you by practicing good oral hygiene every day and getting regular professional cleanings.
4. Whiten Your Smile- Tooth discoloration can cause embarrassment and keep people from smiling. A number of different beverages, including sports drinks, cola, tea, red wine, and coffee can cause tooth discoloration. Tobacco use and certain medications can also stain teeth. Professional dental cleanings in McDonough will whiten your smile and leave you with freshly polished teeth.
Want a great life? Start with your smile. Call Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at 678-583-0330 today to schedule an appointment for a professional cleaning in McDonough, GA. Your dental hygiene routine and professional dental care are more than just taking care of your smile. They're important steps in taking care of yourself.
Your smile isn’t the same without healthy gums—neither are your teeth, for that matter. So, maintaining your gums by protecting them from periodontal (gum) disease is a top priority.
Gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that collects on teeth and is not removed due to poor oral hygiene practices. Infected gums become chronically inflamed and begin to weaken, ultimately losing their firm attachment to the teeth. This can result in increasing voids called periodontal pockets that fill with infection. The gums can also shrink back (recede), exposing the tooth roots to further infection.
Although gum disease treatment techniques vary, the overall goal is the same: remove the bacterial plaque fueling the infection. This most often involves a procedure called scaling with special hand instruments to manually remove plaque and calculus (tartar). If the infection has spread below the gum line we may need to use a procedure called root planing in which we scrape or “plane” plaque and calculus from the root surfaces.
As we remove plaque, the gums become less inflamed. As the inflammation subsides we often discover more plaque and calculus, requiring more treatment sessions. Hopefully, our efforts bring the disease under control and restorative healing to the gums.
But while gum tissue can regenerate on its own, it may need some assistance if the recession was severe. This assistance can be provided through surgical procedures that graft donor tissues to the recession site. There are a number of microsurgical approaches that are all quite intricate to perform, and will usually require a periodontist (a specialist in gum structures) to achieve the most functional and attractive result.
While we have the advanced techniques and equipment to treat and repair gum disease damage, the best approach is to try to prevent the disease from occurring at all. Prevention begins with daily brushing and flossing, and continues with regular dental cleanings and checkups.
And if you do notice potential signs of gum disease like swollen, reddened or bleeding gums, call us promptly for an examination. The sooner we diagnose and begin treatment the less damage this progressive disease can do to your gums—and your smile.
If you would like more information on protecting your gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Periodontal Plastic Surgery.”